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Journal ArticleDOI

Energy efficiency and consumption — the rebound effect — a survey

01 Jun 2000-Energy Policy (Elsevier)-Vol. 28, Iss: 6, pp 389-401

AbstractTechnology policies are one of the options available for the reduction of carbon emissions and the usage of energy. However, gains in the efficiency of energy consumption will result in an effective reduction in the per unit price of energy services. As a result, consumption of energy services should increase (i.e., “rebound” or “take-back”), partially offsetting the impact of the efficiency gain in fuel use. Definitions of the “rebound” effect vary in the literature and among researchers. Depending on the boundaries used for the effect, the size or magnitude of this behavioral response may vary. This review of some of the relevant literature from the US offers definitions and identifies sources including direct, secondary, and economy-wide sources. We then offer a summary of the available empirical evidence for the effect for various sources. For the energy end uses for which studies are available, we conclude that the range of estimates for the size of the rebound effect is very low to moderate.

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Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: It has long been realized that improving energy efficiency releases an economic reaction that partially offsets the original energy saving. As the energy efficiency of some process improves, the process becomes cheaper, thereby providing an incentive to increase its use. Thus total energy consumption changes less than proportionally to changes in physical energy efficiency. For motor vehicles, the process under consideration is use of fuel in producing vehicle-miles traveled (VMT). Our empirical specification is based on a simple aggregate model that simultaneously determines VMT, vehicles, and fuel efficiency. The coefficient on the lagged dependent variable implies considerable inertia in behavior, with people adjusting their travel in a given year by just 21 percent of the ultimate response to a permanent change. The equation exhibits only mild autocorrelation, giving people confidence that their specification accounts for most influences that move sluggishly over time.

798 citations

BookDOI
01 Oct 2012
Abstract: The Global Energy Assessment (GEA) brings together over 300 international researchers to provide an independent, scientifically based, integrated and policy-relevant analysis of current and emerging energy issues and options. It has been peer-reviewed anonymously by an additional 200 international experts. The GEA assesses the major global challenges for sustainable development and their linkages to energy; the technologies and resources available for providing energy services; future energy systems that address the major challenges; and the policies and other measures that are needed to realize transformational change toward sustainable energy futures. The GEA goes beyond existing studies on energy issues by presenting a comprehensive and integrated analysis of energy chalenges, opportunities and strategies, for developing, industrialized and emerging economies. This volume is a invaluable resource for energy specialists and technologists in all sectors (academia, industry and government) as well as policymakers, development economists and practitioners in international organizations and national governments.

795 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Beginning with William Stanley Jevons in 1865, a number of authors have claimed that economically justified energy-efficiency improvements will increase rather than reduce energy consumption. 'Jevons Paradox' is extremely difficult to test empirically, but could have profound implications for energy and climate policy. This paper summarises and critiques the arguments and evidence that have been cited in support of Jevons' Paradox, focusing in particular on the work of Len Brookes and Harry Saunders. It identifies some empirical and theoretical weaknesses in these arguments, highlights the questions they raise for economic orthodoxy and points to some interesting parallels between these arguments and those used by the 'biophysical' school of ecological economics. While the evidence in favour of 'Jevons Paradox' is far from conclusive, it does suggest that economy-wide rebound effects are larger than is conventionally assumed and that energy plays a more important role in driving productivity improvements and economic growth than is conventionally assumed. 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

774 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The unprecedented scale of food waste in global food supply chains is attracting increasing attention due to its environmental, social and economic impacts. Drawing on interviews with food waste specialists, this study construes the boundaries between food surplus and food waste, avoidable and unavoidable food waste, and between waste prevention and waste management. This study suggests that the first step towards a more sustainable resolution of the food waste issue is to adopt a sustainable production and consumption approach and tackle food surplus and waste throughout the global food supply chain. The authors examine the factors that give rise to food waste throughout the food supply chain, and propose a framework to identify and prioritize the most appropriate options for prevention and management of food waste. The proposed framework interprets and applies the waste hierarchy in the context of food waste. It considers the three dimensions of sustainability (environmental, economic, and social), offering a more holistic approach in addressing food waste. Additionally, it considers the materiality and temporality of food. The food waste hierarchy posits that prevention, through minimization of food surplus and avoidable food waste, is the most attractive option. The second most attractive option involves the distribution of food surplus to groups affected by food poverty, followed by the option of converting food waste to animal feed. Although the proposed food waste hierarchy requires a fundamental re-think of the current practices and systems in place, it has the potential to deliver substantial environmental, social and economic benefits.

749 citations


Cites background from "Energy efficiency and consumption —..."

  • ...SCP policies include strategies aiming to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, meet basic human needs, and avert the rebound effect, a term used to describe the phenomenon where the negative impacts of growing consumption outweigh the benefits of efficiency and technological improvements (Barrett & Scott, 2012; Sorrell & Dimitropoulos, 2008; Greening et al., 2000)....

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References
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Book
01 Jan 1980
Abstract: This classic text has introduced generations of students to the economic theory of consumer behaviour. Written by 2015 Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton and John Muellbauer, the book begins with a self-contained presentation of the basic theory and its use in applied econometrics. These early chapters also include elementary extensions of the theory to labour supply, durable goods, the consumption function, and rationing. The rest of the book is divided into three parts. In the first of these the authors discuss restrictions on choice and aggregation problems. The next part consists of chapters on consumer index numbers; household characteristics, demand, and household welfare comparisons; and social welfare and inequality. The last part extends the coverage of consumer behaviour to include the quality of goods and household production theory, labour supply and human capital theory, the consumption function and intertemporal choice, the demand for durable goods, and choice under uncertainty.

3,864 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Industrial demand for energy is essentially a derived demand: the firm's demand for energy is an input is derived from demand for the firm's output. Inputs other than energy typically also enter the firm's production process. Since firms tend to choose that bundle of inputs which minimized the total cost of producing a giving level of output, the derived demand for inputs, including energy, depends on the level of output, the submitions possibilies among inputs allow by production technology, and the relative prices of all inputs.

1,388 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This article presents a model of individual behavior in the purchase and utilization of energy-using durables. The tradeoff between capital costs for more energy efficient appliances and operating costs for the appliances is emphasized. Using data on both the purchase and utilization of room air conditioners, the model is applied to a sample of households. The utilization equation indicates a relatively low price elasticity. The purchase equation, based on a discrete choice model, demonstrates that individuals do trade off capital costs and expected operating costs. The results also show that individuals use a discount rate of about 20 percent in making the tradeoff decision and that the discount rate varies inversely with income.

1,322 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Regulations which mandate appliance efficiency standards may be based on calculations which exaggerate the potential energy savings. Improved efficiency can, in fact, increase demand enough to be counterproductive unless the standards are applied selectively. As appliances improve, they are used more, new stock is demanded, and the demand for and use of related equipment increases. The policy implications of these empirical studies are that the indiscriminate use of mandated standards will backfire, but a mix of selective standards and reliance on prices as a restraint can be effective. 11 references, 5 figures, 2 tables. (DCK)

747 citations

Posted Content
Abstract: This book addresses two significant research areas in an interdependent fashion. It is first of all a comprehensive but concise text that covers the recently developed and widely applicable methods of qualitative choice analysis, illustrating the general theory through simulation models of automobile demand and use. It is also a detailed study of automobile demand and use, presenting forecasts based on these powerful new techniques. The book develops the general principles that underlie qualitative choice models that are now being applied in numerous fields in addition to transportation, such as housing, labor, energy, communications, and criminology. The general form, derivation, and estimation of qualitative choice models are explained, and the major models - logit, probit, and GEV - are discussed in detail. And continuous/discrete models are introduced. In these, qualitative choice methods and standard regression techniques are combined to analyze situations that neither alone can accurately forecast. Summarizing previous research on auto demand, the book shows how qualitative choice methods can be used by applying them to specific auto-related decisions as the aggregate of individuals' choices. The simulation model that is constructed is a significant improvement over older models, and should prove more useful to agencies and organizations requiring accurate forecasting of auto demand and use for planning and policy development. The book concludes with an actual case study based on a model designed for the investigations of the California Energy Commission.

726 citations